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California school board updated on proposed bond issue

California school board updated on proposed bond issue

April 24th, 2019 by Liz Morales in Local News

California High School

Photo by David Wilson /News Tribune.

Plans for a projected 2020 bond issue to fund updates on the three campuses of the Moniteau County R-1 School District are coming together, Board of Education members were told Monday.

The board received the update as part of a walking tour of the middle and elementary school buildings.

In February, the financing firm of LJ Hart & Company projected the school district's bonding capacity to be $9.25 million for the 2020 project.

LJ Hart & Company took another look at the two biggest state-assessed entities that run in the district: Union Pacific Railroad and Union Electric. Superintendent Dwight Sanders said the company then calculated the assessed value of other businesses in the district and bumped the bonding capacity to $10.75 million.

The company then examined the projected principal and interest payments the district would need to make on the bond and recommended the district could handle that amount with the current debt-service levy.

With this new information, Sanders detailed for the board the plans for new construction, renovations and other areas of concern for the bond issue.

New construction

Five preschool classes will be added to the elementary school along with several ancillary classrooms, including an art room with a kiln room, a commons/multipurpose expansion, a computer room and space for special education. Rooms for a Title I classroom, occupational and physical therapy and counselor offices will also be added. Another needed separate room will be the green room. In the new construction, this will be added just outside the middle school media center.

At the elementary school, the commons/multipurpose room will be expanded to allow ample room for children in the morning as a holding area and a pickup zone for after the school day is done. The space will also be open for indoor recess in the event of inclement weather. Six kindergarten classrooms will be built on the main level.

Renovations

Renovations on the main level of the middle school will be made to accommodate fifth-grade students. Three current classrooms will transition to the fifth-grade classes and two existing rooms will undergo renovations to fit two more rooms.

A classroom just outside the media center in the middle school will be renovated for fifth- and sixth-grade special education, and a Parents as Teachers room will be set aside in the elementary school to serve as an office for those involved in the organization.

Two classrooms for music and art will be renovated just outside the newly constructed elementary school multipurpose room.

Guaranteed performance project

Some renovations and building systems will be funded through energy savings. Sanders said this is a separate funding source from the bonds and does not need to be approved by voters to move forward.

With some of this money, the district will update the heating and cooling system in the performing arts center.

As the high school has a two-pipe heating system that offers heat or cold, this greatly affects the performing arts center. If the rest of the high school is being heated for the winter, this can cause the stage and auditorium to be much warmer than necessary for performers and the audience.

With the two-pipe system, there is no way for performances to be temperature controlled. With the renovations, this problem could be amended.

Safety

Vestibules will exist on all three campuses to provide added security to students. Right now, visitors are buzzed in to the buildings and have free range of the buildings.

With a vestibule at each campus, visitors will only have access to the office. From there, they could be admitted to the rest of the buildings.

At the elementary school, a vestibule may be built under the front entrance awning. The middle school will have another set of doors just past the administration offices for incoming visitors.

At the high school, Sanders and the board discussed building a wall from the front door to the office for visitors to use.

Classroom lockout devices that will go over locks were proposed at the meeting. These devices, which will serve as a second deadbolt for added security, will cost approximately $35,000. Security cameras were also proposed for the district; a tentative bid was set at $100,000-150,000.

Athletics

The board discussed the need to replace the track and javelin track, as they are getting worn out. Also, the elementary school gym floor, which is currently tile, will be replaced with hardwood and will cost $70,000.